Towpaths – Which Would You Improve First?

The council is going to be looking at the borough’s towpaths, and has asked us for input on which ones should be the priority. We’ve listed them all below – which ones would you like to see dealt with first?

The list uses the council’s format – grouping sections. Different sections are in different states, hence some of the grouping.

If you have any comments, or if you want to suggest a priority, please tell us below in the comments or at

1. Richmond Bridge to Kew Bridge

Ferry Lane to Thistleworth Marine:  This section of the towpath is a combination of broken up asphalt, concrete and gravel. It is uncomfortable to walk let alone to cycle. Total length is 3,000m with an average width of approx. 2.5m
Thistleworth Marine to Richmond Bridge: This section of the towpath is laid in asphalt and/or clearmac. The overall condition is good with no current maintenance issues.

2. Ham (Surrey side) towards Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge to south of Richmond canoe club: Asphalt laid towpath. Isolated patches of asphalt are required to eliminate existing potholes and towpath troughs
Buccleuch Gardens (south boundary) to River Lane: Towpath is laid in a mixture of brocken up concrete, asphalt and gravel. Upgrade to a hard surface is most desirable as this section is prone to flooding.

3. Ham vicinity to Teddington Lock

Ham Street (riverside car park) to Teddington Lock: This section of the towpath is a combination of broken up asphalt, concrete and gravel. Towpath upgrade will definitely be beneficial.

4. Teddington Lock to Kingston borough boundary

There is a footpath and a cyclepath that run parallel to each other. The footpath is made of gravel ground and is in good condition. The cyclepath is laid in clearmac and requires isolated patches to eliminate potholes and cracked surface.

5. Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court Bridge

Barge Walk (Horse Fair) to Palace Road: Access road to premises that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in ashpalt. The current condition is good. Isolated minor patching to potholes.
Barge Walk (Palace Road) to Pavilion Terrace: Cyclepath is laid in gravel and is in very good condition. A few minor scattered potholes but not in need of immediate maintenance.
Barge Walk (Pavilion Terrace) to south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden: Access road to Pavilion Terrace that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in ashpalt. Requires isolated patches to eliminate potholes and cracked surface.
Barge Walk (south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden) to Hampton Court Bridge: Access road to Pavilion Terace that acts as footpath/cyclepath laid in concrete. Good Condition no action needed.
Barge Walk footpath (south boundary of the Great Fountain Garden) to Stewart Marine Footpath is a mixture of gravel and natural ground. Majority of its length is in good condition however isolated grading re-levelling will be required to eliminate uneven ground conditions.

6. Richmond Bridge to Orlean Gardens 

Richmond Bridge to Denton Road Towpath in asphalt, condition is very good, no need for any improvements
Denton Road to Orleans Road Towpath in asphalt, requires isolated patches to elliminate potholes and cracked surface.


5 thoughts on “Towpaths – Which Would You Improve First?

  1. My order of priority would be:
    First: #2 ( between Ham & Richmond Bridge)
    Second: #3 & #4
    Third: #6
    Fourth: #1

    only because these are the routes I know & use, in that order. With all improvements please ask the council to ensure that:
    * surfaces are smooth
    * surfaces are wide enough to accommodate pedestrians & cyclists without generating conflict.

    Over the years, more people have started to use the towpaths & they have reached capacity in many places. If the council wants more people to use them either as pedestrians or cyclists, the towpath capacity needs to be increased through increasing width & improving surface.
    A REAL improvement would be some form of lighting so that people could use the routes in dark evenings & mornings without fear. But this may be unacceptable, given the local environmental impact. Although it is obviously acceptable on other routes / roads nearby!

  2. Towpath re-surfacing will be very welcome! On the towpath from Richmond to Teddington Lock the rough surface makes cycling quite uncomfortable!

    The section from Teddington Lock would be benefit from better signage as well as surface work as pedestrians do not realise that the upper path is for cycling.

  3. By far the worst bit of towpath is the bit alongside Petersham Meadows. It is a muddy quagmire for most of the winter.

  4. I agree about the signage. From Ham to Kingston the pedestrian path is wide and smooth, and the cycle path narrow and broken, especially between the Boaters arms and Bentalls, and pedestrians are unaware, and tend to wander along in groups by the water.

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